How to set up an English Corner in your house

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If you are thinking about teaching English to your child, the first thing I suggest to do is to create an English Corner in your house.

An English corner is a magic place where English is spoken. I like imagining this place as the house of a special English speaking friend (a puppet) who will help your child learn the new language. Think about a corner in your house that you can use as “the house of the puppet”. For example, you can set up a box or a basket with a small blanket inside and pretend it is the puppet’s bed. You can let your fantasy run wild!

TOP TIP: you could also tell your child that a new friend is arriving and that you have to prepare some room for him/her!

Then get yourself a puppet (like this one by Ikea or you can make one by yourself with an old sock as this video shows You will Introduce it to your child on your first day. Don't forget to invent an English name for it and to establish an “English time” in your routine. Think about a suitable time to dedicate to English for 15 minutes every day. Choose a funny tune and set the alarm. Say to your child that this is the English Time Alarm when it rings the puppet wakes up.

Before saying goodbye, let me tell you how to use the puppet. In the instructions below you will see why I suggest to use it and what to expect from your child to learn.  It may seem too challenging or too weird at first, but in my opinion ì the puppet is the key to learning, and YOU DON'T HAVE TO KNOW ENGLISH AT A HIGH LEVEL, at this age (4- 7  years old children) the aim now is the exposure to English, remember to use simple structures.

Just follow my instructions and have fun!

1) we use the puppet because it helps the child switch from his/her native language to English

2) also the fact that the puppet has his/her own house or bed (English corner) helps the child switch to English 

3) you don't need to have a high level of English. You can watch this video (it's in Italian and English) and see how I use the puppet.

4) the puppet understands the native language but doesn't speak it. It only speaks English, don't translate into your native language, but repeat and use your body language to convey meaning. 

5) if your child doesn't understand something, move on to something else.

6) if your child doesn't speak English, don't worry because at this age we want him to listen. What you can do is asking him to repeat new words. 

You can do this! 

Let me know whether you found my tips useful! If you would like to join my playgroups, you may find my new mini-course interesting!

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If you liked this post you might also like:

4 Tips for getting children to study English without going crazy

Three steps to start learning English at home (children 4-7)

The recipe for making your children happy to learn English online!

Happy Reading! Happy English!

Bye for now!

Teacher Noemi


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